View Full Version : Lasering solid surface countertop material?

Gene Uselman
11-04-2015, 10:23 AM
Has anyone tried it? I have a good source for drops and it cuts so nice on the cnc... I love it. Probably would not try to cut it, more engraving. I have a 130w laser being
built in ComChi btw. I have been reading and learning a bunch on this forum, and look forward to the machine and learning curve. Thanks Gene

gary l roberts
11-04-2015, 10:31 AM
engraves great

Keith Outten
11-04-2015, 11:19 AM
Lots of Corian engraving, CNC and dye sublimation in my gallery.


Gene Uselman
11-04-2015, 11:47 AM
Thank you gentlemen- that is good news, and Keith your signage looks great. We have a medium size sign shop (but no dye sub), I am officially retired but work seven days a week
because I love building stuff. Bought a Shopbot a couple years ago and it makes me very happy... I am thinking the laser will be a good addition. Thanks again. Gene

Jeff Belany
11-04-2015, 5:13 PM
Keith, your signs are great. May I ask what your technique is for color filling Corian? What paint do you prefer? I have a customer who want some photos done for exterior use. Informational signage on a historical structure. Any suggestions.

Any advise greatly appreciated.

Jeff in northern Wisconsin

Keith Outten
11-05-2015, 7:04 AM
I use just about every technique available to color fill Corian, it all depends on the project. I have found that any type of paint sticks to Corian well but I prefer to use Ace Hardware rattle cans most of the time because it doesn't load up my sanding disks as bad as other manufacturers paint. I use Rustoelum enamel for door signs and apply (dip) the paint with a foam brush or use a Q Tip for small details. Removing the excess paint is done with a razor blade scraper which eliminates sanding disk loading and it reduces the sanding time to just a few seconds.

Corian cutting boards that I make are dish washer safe, when I customize them by laser engraving or VCarving I use Dupont adhesive to fill the sub surface areas selecting a color contrast that fits the design. I have also used epoxy for small jobs and color the epoxy using a variety of paints and sometimes I mix plastic sanding dust in the epoxy.

Exterior Corian signs and plaques can be painted using any type of paint, you don't have to use epoxy or Dupont adhesive. I tell my customers that since the details are all sub-surface in ten years if the paint fades its easy to just spray paint the sign let it dry and then sand the surface again.

Patient Care areas in Hospitals and doctors offices have to be filled to meet the new federal standards so I generally use a color contrast Dupont adhesive as it will sand and polish just like Corian and leaves perfectly flat and sealed text or graphics. A commercial epoxy will also work well for these types of signs and may be more cost efficient if there is a large number of signs or they are very large. Its best to purchase the manufacturers recommended tint for epoxy. Another option that meets the patient care area requirements is dye-sublimation because there are no cracks or crevices that can trap bacteria.

Gene, a laser engraver and a CNC router compliment each other better than any two machines I have ever seen. I often use both machines in a single job and of course the router allows me to make my own custom plaques as well as routing details.

Jeff Belany
11-05-2015, 11:37 AM
Thanks Keith for all the great information.

One question -- have you done many photos in Corian? Any special techniques?

Jeff in northern Wisconsin

Keith Outten
11-05-2015, 12:10 PM

I have laser engraved several photographs on Corian. Surprising enough its a pretty easy task, recently I have been engraving a portrait of Stonewall Jackson on pens that are made from a Corian and oak wood from his prayer tree. I use about half the speed that I normally use when I engrave Corian signs to reduce the engraving depth. There are several threads here with some amazing pictures of dog portraits engraved on pens by Chuck Stone and a few others which is where I got the idea for the Stonewall Jackson portrait pens.

Its much easier IMO to laser engrave larger photographs on plaques. Nothing special about my technique, its the same way you would engrave any bitmap in any other material but I'm not as good at it as others are here.

John Bion
11-05-2015, 2:06 PM
The only down side to lasering Corian is that it gives off quite a bit of dust which can act as sand paper on your rails etc (on Chinese lasers with unprotected rails etc). So you do need to clean up well. Other than that it is great. As Keith said, laser & cnc router are great at complimenting each other. Keith has been a great inspiration :)
Kind regards, John

PS: dark colours take some finishing :0

Bill George
11-05-2015, 4:05 PM
I will 2nd or 3d Corian as great stuff. I like it much better than wood and granite that's for sure. I get cut offs over at my local countertop place, and they do a lot of it. It looks very professional when you get done with the job.

vic casware
11-05-2015, 5:36 PM
Hi Keith,
Those pictures are fantastic
the dye sublimated parts, do you have any idea if and for how
long they would last outside?

Keith Outten
11-05-2015, 9:49 PM

I don't think anyone knows how long a dye-sublimated Corian project will last outside exposed to UV. I have exterior projects that are over five years old now that still look good. What makes Corian dye-sublimation different than any other technique is that the ink is sub-surface not just sitting on the surface of the material which is why the more traditional dye-sub projects tend to fade so quickly.

My first attempt at Corian dye-sub was a test. I dye-sublimated two identical photographs and placed one on my desk at work and the other I put on the dashboard of my truck. After four months of Summer exposure in my truck I compared the two and there was no difference, this was when I decided that Corian dye-sub was worth using in my sign shop. I still tell my customers that exposure to direct sun light will reduce the lifetime of a photo but at this point nobody knows how long it will take.